Washington REALTORS® Coronavirus (Covid-19) Resource Center



Apply for Regular Unemployment NOW to Be Able to Seek PUA Later...

Apply for Regular Unemployment NOW to Be Able to Seek PUA Later... 


Under the federal CARES Act, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) will be implemented in Washington State by the Employment Security Department (ESD). Because PUA is for workers like independent contractors who do not qualify for regular state unemployment, independent contractors should first apply to ESD for regular unemployment benefits. REALTORS® who will be fully or partially unemployed because of the COVID-19 crisis and are interested in seeking PUA benefits should apply NOW for regular unemployment. To apply, you will need to set up a Secure Access Washington (SAW) account at the ESD website here: apply for traditional UIIndependent contractors who apply for regular unemployment will be denied–but obtaining a SAW account, applying for regular unemployment, and being denied are required preliminary steps to then apply for PUA later this month. ESD now estimates that PUA applications can be filed on Monday, April 20. Additional guidance on PUA eligibility and the application process will be available later this week. This will include issues like how independent contractors would demonstrate employment status and income, and the extent to which an independent contractor can partially work and still be eligible for PUA. Washington REALTORS® will provide an update when this new information is available. 

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NOTICE: May 7th will be the last regularly scheduled "Daily Update". Washington REALTORS® will resume weekly instead of daily email communications starting May 12th. During the early weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic, information was changing daily, if not hourly. Now that the flow of late breaking information has tapered, WR will resume communicating via Get the Facts on Tuesday and the Friday Video Update. We will continue to send updates as we receive time sensitive or breaking information important to you, your business and your clients.


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